It’s Official. The golf season officially starts this week as the years first major championship starts this week. I managed to make it down to what I feel is the most beautiful place on earth, Augusta National Golf Club. My day started at about 4:30 as I arrived at the gate just before 8 o’clock. I immediately hit the course with video camera in hand, hoping to get a shot at Mr. Woods and Fred Couples. I timed it just right as Woods and Couples were coming down the second. I camped out behind the long par 3 fourth hole. Tiger approached the tee to a welcoming applause and proceeded to slice it in the front bunker and I captured it on camera. He appeared pretty relaxed and was very engaging with the crowd that seemed to accept him back to the game. I am sure he was thinking about his press conference that would take place a few hours later so I didn’t read much into the loose shots that I saw Tiger hit. It looked as though he was just glad to back out on the course and in his comfort zone. The golf course looked very good even though the azaleas were not quite in bloom. I am sure the Masters staff are going to work there magic and get them to pop by Thursday for the television coverage. It is great to see the best players and how they prepare for a tournament and there is a lot to be learned if you pay attention. Hitting shots to different parts of the greens and hitting chips and rolling putts to every possible pin position. I spent a lot of time at the newly constructed practice tee and short game area (which is phenomenal to say the least). This is where you can really see how the guys put the work in and work with their coaches. As I watched the players hitting balls, working on their short games and putting, here are some simple things that I observed and are great reminders for all of us trying to improve our games.
1. Ross Fisher rolling putts while his coach lined him up from behind.
2. Rory Mcilroy rolling putt after putt using a chalk line for alignment
3. Every player had dowel rods or clubs on the ground for alignment (including Els, Quiros, Schwartzel and Singh), taking nothing for granted………do you?
4. Vijay Singh using a variety of objects including an umbrella placed just outside the target line to keep him from swinging too much from the inside.
5. Kevin Na and Matt Kutchar making slow motion rehearsal swings in between every shot. Something that I preach in every lesson
I took plenty of video that I will edit and share if I find appropriate in the near future. Many of the players looked sharp but I was particularly impressed with one young player. Charl Schwartzel.
For those of you that are in a Masters pool, I will make him my dark horse pick of the week. See you next time and enjoy watching the Masters. Oh, and lastly……Alvero Quiros is as long as advertised…..Wow he is long.
What a great day at The Masters,